An anonymous fund manager weighed in today with his (or her?) “trading picks” vis a vis Nigeria’s All Share Index, which rallied 35% in Q2 after a 37% plunge in Q1 that caused it to be labeled the ‘world’s worst performing market’ at the time.  The index remains down roughly 15% YTD, however.  New additions to, and current holdings in the manager’s portfolio include:

  • Access Bank: A “high-growth story”; well capitalized, undervalued and “an aggressive management team that has proven itself adaptable to current market challenges.”
  • BCC: A top pick in the construction and real estate sector due to “its widening market opportunity, new installed capacity and significant likely earnings-growth momentum in 2009.”
  • Continental Reinsurance: A stock that has been “excessively trampled” over the past three months (down 53% to a record low) yet still maintains “an attractive valuation.”
  • Diamond Bank: The second-tier player with a middle market and SME focus is “one of the new niche players in the Nigerian banking space,” whose management is “highly regarded.”
  • Ecobank Transnational Incorporated: A “significantly misunderstood and mispriced [stock] by the market,” ETI is a “uniquely pan-African bank with 91% of its SSA profits coming from outside Nigeria [that] operates in 27 countries with over 11,000 employees from 29 countries across Africa.”
  • GT Bank: A “strong franchise with a focus on blue-chip corporates and a reputation built on high operating standards,” GT Bank is “the only bank in our universe to publish under international financial reporting standards (IFRS).”
  • Guinness Nigeria: Nigeria’s second-largest brewer is a “niche brand with solid margins (EBITDA +30%) and a growing market opportunity.”
  • Oando: The largest downstream petroleum marketer in Nigeria has “a portfolio of lucrative upstream oil and gas assets that are increasingly becoming a larger part of its revenue mix significantly enhancing its margins.”
  • Standard Alliance Insurance: Potentially “strong premium income growth underlined by a robust direct sales network.”  Because it is trading at a “significant discount” (approximately 60%) to its adjusted book value, “its forthcoming results could be a solid catalyst.”
  • UBA: For a retail bank in an underdeveloped market, UBA has an extensive network in Nigeria as well as 80 branches in 10 other African countries.
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